My friend Adam says, “All snakes are poisonous when you’re running.” He knows it’s not true, but it sure feels true in the moment you see one slithering across your path.
I was maybe a minute into my first leg of the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey this weekend when a black and pale yellow snake slithered across my path. It was not a small snake. My usual “turn and run the other way” technique for snake avoidance wouldn’t work here. I couldn’t turn around without letting my team down. I couldn’t veer off the path to miss it because knee-high bushes (excellent hiding places for even more snakes) grew along both sides. I had to hurdle it and keep going.
I suppose all interesting odysseys must involve scary beasties and other obstacles.
Before the start, I was anxious about the other obstacles we would face, primarily heat and altitude. Snakes hadn’t really crossed my mind until one crossed my path. On my way to the start, I had even walked by a homeless person trying to shoo a small snake away from where he was sitting. The whole snake thing barely registered then.